Christian Publishers Flock to Family Christian Stores Bankruptcy Hearing

Family Christian Stores

This week’s bankruptcy hearing for Family Christian Stores (FCS) has drawn a great deal of interest, especially from Christian publishers who are among the unsecured creditors owed more than $40 million.

Among those present were attorneys for Moody Publishers, Rose Publishing, Crossway, InterVarsity Press, Harvest House Publishers, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, FaithWords, Barbour Publishing, Tyndale House Publishers and Baker Publishing Group.

Family Christian Stores, the nation’s largest chain of Christian book and gift stores with 266 stores in 36 states, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. President and CEO Chuck Bengochea said in a release from FCS that, “this action allows us to stay in business and continue to serve our customers, our associates, our vendors and charities around the world.”

According to its Chapter 11 petition, Family Christian Stores’ annual sales have fallen from $305 million in 2008 to $230 million in 2014. The company that employs 600 full-time and 2,500 part-time workers, projects its 2015 sales to fall by at least $14 million.

Mlive.com, the website of the Grand Rapids Press, reported that some creditors “sell their goods through the stores on consignment while others are owed money for inventory on the stores’ shelves.”

The top creditors in terms of money owed are HarperCollins ($7.5 million) and Tyndale House ($1.7).

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SOURCE: Christian Retailing
Shawn A. Akers